If you want to be intentional about building a positive workplace culture for your company, the best place to start is to evaluate your company’s core values. Core values influence everything from your company’s mission in the marketplace, to the policies, procedures, and practices that you conduct behind your office walls. Core values act as a compass in guiding your company into the future, and they shape employee behavior. To build a positive workplace culture that reflects what you value most, you need to determine what your company stands for and then consider what actions you need to take for your values to permeate throughout your entire company.

Core Values Communicate Your Investments

Your company’s core values are determined by where you invest your resources. Do you invest in people? Or do you invest solely in outcomes? Companies who invest time in their people understand that a company’s success depends on its employees. Indeed, it is the employees that drive productivity. To be successful in engaging your workforce, your core values need to inspire your employees. How you do that depends on how you communicate your company’s vision and mission, and how you interact with them daily to instill the desired behaviors you want to see. This takes more than you or your management team barking orders at them and demanding results. You need to demonstrate to them through your actions, model the behavior your desire, and live them out.

Employees need to understand how their roles affect the company and why their role is important to you. They need to be shown that they are a relevant and important part of your company’s success, and they need to know how their behavior affects the success of the company and the success of their career with you. To incentivize behaviors that adhere to your company core values, consider utilizing trainings, reward programs, or other initiatives that develop a culture embraced by all. When employees live the values that are most important to your business, performance improves as a result.

Core Values Determine Your Success

The most successful companies in the marketplace are the ones willing to invest time in defining and enforcing their core values from the top down.  Leaders need to formalize the desired culture to make its meaning concrete and then model those values daily. Companies that define their values and enforce them have proven to be more successful than those that don’t. They can weather the economic storms of downturns and thrive in economic booms, and that’s because these companies are able to communicate and enforce such values throughout their hierarchies.

To improve your company’s workplace culture, to engage your employees and shape their behaviors to fit a desired outcome benefiting your company in the long run, consider making your company’s core values an active part of your workplace.